Kolby Byrd Commits to MSU

Brookhaven Academy senior catcher Kolby Byrd commits to Mississippi State after officially visiting State this past weekend.

"Kolby committed this afternoon," said Terry Byrd, Kolby's dad. "He called the coaches to tell them. They all wanted to talk to him."

Other D-I schools that showed interest in him were North Carolina, Southern Miss and Samford.

Terry explained why Kolby chose State over those colleges.

"That's where he said he's always wanted to go play baseball and things just worked out and he had that chance," said Terry. "I think when State contacted him that was pretty much it (because) he wants to be a Bulldog."

And Kolby couldn't agree more.

"This is a dream come true for me," said the 6-1, 225-pounder. "I've always wanted to go there."

Kolby wasn't the only one happy with the decision.

"I was very happy, very impressed," said Terry. "I think the whole program is tops."

Although the State coaches are relatively new to the state, they soon heard about Kolby and evaluated him while he played for the Jackson 96ers summer travel team.

"We had heard that they were interested in him," said Terry. "He played with the 96ers this summer and I think that's where they started to watch him."

And the State coaches, who have catching as a high priority for this recruiting class, liked what they saw.

"They told him that they really like his arm, his size and his bat, and there's going to be a lot of power in his bat," said Terry of his lefthanded hitting son.

Kolby, who has a best throw to second base of 1.8 seconds, hit .391 with 10 home runs and 44 RBI last season. He is also a starter at linebacker and running back for the football team.

And his home runs weren't the cheap kind you sometimes see in high school.

"The park we play in is 315-feet down the line and 368-feet in center field with a 15-foot high fence in center and an 8-foot fence around the rest of it," said Kolby.

While Mississippi State head coach John Cohen made it known that he really wanted Kolby, he also, according to Terry, told him what he expected of him if he decided to commit.

"Coach Cohen told him, 'I don't want you to come unless you want to be a diehard Bulldog and give me everything that you have.' "

And after thinking about it for about 24 hours, Kolby picked up the phone, called Cohen and told him that's exactly what he is ready to be and do.

Kolby Byrd is MSU's 10th commitment. The others are...

  • South Panola (MS) High School first baseman Ethan Bright
  • Tupelo (MS) High School righthanded pitcher Chris Stratton
  • Briarwood Christian (AL) infielder/righthanded pitcher Ben Bracewell
  • Benjamin Russell (AL) High School righthanded pitcher Kendall Graveman
  • Cleburne County (AL) High School lefthanded pitcher C.C. Watson
  • Neshoba Central (MS) HIgh School outfielder/righthanded pitcher Donnie Tabb
  • Hartselle (AL) High School lefthanded pitcher Luke Bole
  • Blinn (TX) College outfielder Trey Johnson
  • Hoover (AL) High School middle infielder Sam Frost

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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